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What Is Wrong With Me? How Can I Fix It?

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(this was also posted in the sleep disorders forum)

i want to start by saying that i'm going to a psychologist and i'm seeing a psychiatrist in two weeks. Until then no one knows what I have, and if anyone knows please give me some suggestions.
I am a 17 year old male. My entire life I struggled with horrific dreams that were mainly terrifying because of how real they were, it might sound crazy, but the memory and experience of my dream was just as real as reality. Two years ago I stopped sleeping because the dreams were so terrifying that I would rather live with a few hours of sleep than face them every night. So I lived and functioned normally after a couple months of only getting 3-4 hours of sleep, now I am completely adjusted to my sleep patterns of 3am-7am.
Two months ago it got worse, now my sleeping problem has returned, but now when I wake from a dream it is difficult if not impossible for me to tell if what I experienced was a dream or reality, because both were as real as each other. I once woke and thought it was a week later than what it really was, because my dream lasted near a week, it took me hours of apathy and fear to click out of it and realize what the day was. I decided to seek medical help. The past 2+ months of therapy have only helped to throw around ideas what I have, but to no avail.
About three weeks ago I stopped dreaming altogether. And my waking life had become worse. I started seeing things and hearing things. It isn’t all the time, I have attacks that I am in extreme fear of things in my house but i’m not sure if they are in my house, voices that do not seem to be there, it hits and I just close my eyes and beg for it to go away, I become overcome with terrible feelings. I decided to refer to my life in two different stages of consciousness. I cannot tell if I am awake and asleep, both as equally real as the other. The dreams have returned as well as the feelings that can only be described as delusions. I am posting this because today I woke up and could not recall what day it was, and I slept for 13 hours, which is 3 times as much sleep as I usually get. My dream lasted a few days and I woke up and it took me a while to figure out which day it was, I didn’t go to my classes because of the confusion and I am just confused. I am also losing my memory. Memories from just yesterday are vague, I can not remember very much for any period of time. It wasn’t until an hour ago when I tried to convey the feeling of this memory lost to my best friend that I could explain it, it felt like a dream. Yesterday feels like a dream, and I don’t know why.

What is this? Schizophrenia? Parasomnia? Is this a sleeping disorder or a chemical imbalance?

I know i'm leaving something out, if you have any questions of symptoms or anythings please respond.

Ljd
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replied September 3rd, 2005
Wow! Im sorry you are going through this. I don't know much about parasomnia, but from what I do know, it sounds like thats what you could have. Then again, i've been told by a few of my psychiatrists that people with schizophrenia can have really intense and realistic dreams and have trouble distinguishing what is real life and what is a dream. I often confuse my dreams with real life.L I can go for hours believing something was real, but later realize it was a dream. This happens to me real frequently. There are a few dreams I had when I was younger that I had always believed really happened until recently, because after thinking hard about them, I realize they could not have really happened.
I also have horrible nightmares a lot that are really vivid and seem so real. For the next day or two, I will not be able to get the dream out of my head because it seemed so real and it will make me depressed. Yet, I will still be able to realize that it had been a dream, so I don't know if this is the same as what you experience.

But, if your also having hallucinations (which are believed to be waking dreams--like the body is still in rem, while it is awake) then it could be schizophrenia or something similar.

What has your therapist said about all this? Maybe you should print out what you wrote here and show it to the psychiatrist you are going to see.

Anyhow, im sure the psychiatrist will be able to give you a better answer than I have. Good luck
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replied September 10th, 2005
Mind And Personality Disorders
I hav suffered all my life due to family that have mind disorders.Sometimes I often questioned my own mental health.One thing I now for sure dealing with memories,medication,family problems,and various other factors can be stressful and very challenging.Education and understanding are helping me alot'
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replied December 6th, 2005
You
Calm ... Still ... I hate those dreams, I hate the confusion that goes with the days that pass as defused reality. Yet we are here, we breath, we live. If you dreams are horrid, make your days as bright as possible. Because if you are dreaming then how could it be happy if they as horrible as you discreibe. Maybe then both will sometime become happy (as life, with its constant trials can be, lol).
Sometimes these things feal anoyingly pointless and frustrating, and even thou we can not do anything about them we sure still as hell can complain!! :-)
best wishes 2 u!!!
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replied February 15th, 2006
Dreams
It's been awhile since you posted your concern, and I hope you got the help you needed. Did you know that lack of sleep can make you hallucinate??? Also, schizophrenia is mainly hereditary. So, look at family background. I don't know your situation, but I think there are other things going on in your life that is the main concern. Get that fixed, then your dreams will get better.
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